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Mileage Deductions: How To Get Free Money

The IRS is offering you free money

The numbers have gone up. The percentage of drivers that take advantage of the mileage deduction the IRS offers has increased over the years that I've been doing this job. There's a problem's still too low. I do an informal poll of drivers when I'm out working and it's gone from about 30% to maybe 40% of drivers utilizing this deduction that drives taxes down drastically.

When I talk to drivers about how to get free money they don't seem interested until I point out that it's a simple process (thanks to some pretty useful apps). With the help of one main app and proper incorporation into your daily driving routine you can easily record your mileage by just the touch of your phone. I tell you how it works here.

I know, it's boring to talk about. That's why (although my sample size is limited to my on-site polling) we're sitting at an anemic 40% of drivers reporting mileage. Another segment of drivers is under, over, or just guess-reporting their mileage.

Of course, it's important to be accurate and once you follow the simple process of locating and downloading the app once, then all you have to do is activate it once when you start driving and close it after your last delivery. It tracks all your miles, maps all your deliveries and documents everything in daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports that are printable on one sheet of paper that you hand to your tax preparer. You can read more on that process here.

It's that simple. Oh and by the way...did I mention it's free? I've been using it for years. The most useful reason to use the mileage app after the tax savings though is that I can track how much money I'm making per mile and that helps me set my goals.

My mantra is "Drive for a Dollar." That's a minimum of a dollar per mile that I struggled with to begin with but it's a staple now and I often not only beat that amount, but sometimes by half or more. You have to track something in order to be able to understand it and surpass it. You can read more about that in this post.

free money mileage app
Stride Mileage app

Don't depend on the delivery apps to track your mileage because they don't track the full mileage you drive. They track to the location and to the dropoff. Some of them don't even do that. After you drop the order off, any miles you drive to get back to a restaurant hot zone is on you. If you're tracking the mileage yourself, you can use that recorded mileage and take all the miles as deductions. That means every mile in between runs.

That means every mile from your first delivery to your last. It's worth repeating that the mileage that Uber, Grubhub, Amazon or any other company is for their benefit, not yours.

Using a mileage app is essential for the job. It keeps you safe from audits and provides a excellent record of your activities and it allows you to stay out of a higher tax bracket by reducing the amount of tax owed via expenses. And we all want to pay as little tax as legally possible.

Remember, it's not what you make - it's what you keep!

Happy Trails...

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